The fallout over Clinton's 'Fox News Sunday' interview

Reaction from the 'Special Report' All-Star panel


This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," August 1, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


HILLARY CLINTON, D-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  Director Comey said that my answers were truthful and what I've said is consistent with what I have told the American people.  

REP. TREY GOWDY, R-SOUTH CAROLINA:  Secretary Clinton said there was nothing marked classified on her e-mails either sent or received.  Was that true?  

JAMES COMEY, FBI DIRECTOR:  That's not true.  There were a small number of portion markings on I think three of the documents.  

GOWDY:  Secretary Clinton said "I did not e-mail any classified material to anyone on my e-mail.  There is no classified material."  Was that true?  

COMEY:  There was classified material e-mailed.  

Although we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of classified information, there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.  


BRET BAIER, HOST "SPECIAL REPORT":  The answer to Chris Wallace on FOX News Sunday opened up a whole can of worms, basically bringing up questions of trustworthiness and the problems that Hillary Clinton has in that category.  In fact, "The Washington Post" gave her answer on the e-mail situation four Pinocchios, its highest rating for non-truth.  "Clinton," it said, "is cherry-picking statements by Comey to preserver her narrative about the unusual setup of the private email server.  She relies extensively on technical and legalistic answers to explain her actions."

This comes as some new polls just surfaced.  We have CNN in a post- Democratic convention with a big bump, about seven points for Hillary Clinton.  And then you have CBS with a new poll out, also seeing a Hillary Clinton bump.  

But here on this question, you don't see much movement.  This is the honest and trustworthy question, the CNN poll, up four points.  Is she honest and trustworthy?  But that's where she was before the GOP convention.  And then Trump is roughly the same number.  There you see post GOP convention and post Democratic convention.  Honest and trustworthy a big factor in this election.  

Let's bring in our panel, Steve Hayes, senior writer for The Weekly Standard, editor in chief of Lifezette, Laura Ingraham, and Zeke Miller, political reporter for TIME. OK, Zeke, your thoughts on the fallout from this interview?  

ZEKE MILLER, TIME:  Certainly this is a clear indication here that Hillary Clinton is still trying to have it both ways regarding her e-mails, refusing to admit a mistake.  And that's been her problem this entire time is that had she come out initially and said I shouldn't have done this and that there may be classified information on there that may be marked classified after the fact, she wouldn't be in this situation right now.  
The problem is she's been trying to have it on every side of this issue all the way through the last 18 months.  

BAIER:  Laura?  

LAURA INGRAHAM, EDITOR IN CHIEF, LIFEZETTE.COM:  She has an astonishing ability to look into Chris Wallace's eyes after you hear the tape of Comey saying on multiple issues, whether she intended or now, she wasn't truthful.  And she said, oh, no, he clarified things.  And then added the little cutesy about her mother loved FOX News.  That's all nice and that's all well and good.  But the fact of the matter is this is about her tenure as secretary of state.  

We just heard from Barack Obama last week that she is the most qualified person in recent memory to run for president.  She's sophisticated, experienced, look at her resume.  If she didn't know that you couldn't do this, you couldn't put a government server in your bathroom, then what does Hillary Clinton really know about basic issues of foreign policy?  That was a stunning back and forth, and apparently she can lie with impunity to most people in the press other than some of the folks at Fox News.  

BAIER:  So her campaign manager was on MSNBC this morning and talked about this exchange and tried to explain it further.  


ROBBY MOOK, CLINTON CAMPAIGN MANAGER:  What Director Comey said was that he believes there was no basis for her to believe that the e-mails in question that you're referring to, that she had any reason to believe that they were classified --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I believe he said the opposite.  She in his mind --


COMEY:  Certainly she should have known not to send classified information. As I said, that's the definition of negligent.  I think she was extremely careless.  I think she was negligent.  That I could establish.  What we can't establish is that she acted with the necessary criminal intent.  


BAIER:  That's pretty stark.  It's like they don't think we have videotape.  

STEVE HAYES, SENIOR WRITER, THE WEEKLY STANDARD:  It's a direct, incontrovertible, indisputable, demonstrably false claim that Robby Mook made, and Hillary Clinton's claim was even worse.  We have seen this -- to me the most astonishing thing, I think it is remarkable she's able to look into the camera, look at Chris Wallace and say these things that we know to be untrue.  

But it's not just that lie.  It's not just like that's the one lie that Director Comey said what she said was consistent with what I've told the American people.  It's that everything she said about the e-mails has turned out to be a lie.  You go back and you look at that original press conference she had at the United Nations, you can go through and mark off her statements one after another after another of things that have turned out to not be true.  Many of those things she had to know weren't true when she said them.  Others she may not have known weren't true but they ended up not being true.  Her entire defense of the e-mails is built on a mountain of lies.  

BAIER:  All right, so paint this race now.  She seems to be focusing more on Trump, making it a referendum on Trump.  In fact she's in the rust belt state, in Nebraska talking more about Trump than she's talking about jobs or the economy or anything else.  

MILLER:  What's notable about her convention speech is that that was her one opportunity to go herself in front of the camera and try to redefine who she is, explain who she is, try to turn that trustworthy number around. And instead most of that speech was devoted to attacking Donald Trump, particularly the end of it.  It was pretty forceful and responsible for some of that bump.  But, you know, the fact that her trustworthy numbers didn't improve after that convention, only one person is responsible for that, and that's Hillary Clinton.  

BAIER:  Yes.  I mean, look at those numbers, four points.  She goes back to where she was pre-GOP convention after a week of saying how great Hillary Clinton is.  

INGRAHAM:  That GDP number that came out on Friday, 1.2 percent economic growth, we had to go back and look at the economic forecast.  They were all downgraded because everybody is wrong.  They thought the economy was going to grow.  The economy is growing at basically a snail's pace.  We have no movement in economic growth.  That should be Donald Trump's focus.  His focus has to be on the failed Clinton/Obama foreign policy and economy with the economy being first.  

And you're exactly right, she's not going to focus on her record.  What is the record?  A railed Russian reset.  For all their concern about Russia, Russia is in Crimea.  For all their concern about the middle class, we've seen a bloodletting of jobs still in the middle class, many of them going to foreign workers.  The country says 70 percent we're going in the wrong direction.  That is on Obama and Clinton's watch.  And Donald Trump needs to stay on that.  She has no defense to that, none.  And that's why she's making it about Trump.  

BAIER:  We're going to talk about Donald Trump and his statements and where he is after the weekend next panel.  But for Hillary Clinton, is this going to work?  Not Trump, making him less appealing, making this a Trump referendum?  

HAYES:  We don't know, but I think the reason that they're doing what Zeke pointed out, and I think he accurately described what she tried to do in her speech, is because they don't think she's going to turn around her untrustworthy statements because it's not about one statement.  It's not about one speech that she's given.  It's about a career.  And Hillary Clinton has made a career out of being untrustworthy.  It's what she's done.  You can go back and you can, and Donald Trump will surely do this, talk about the 1990s where she wasn't honest and talk about last week where she wasn't honest.  This is who she is.  I think the campaign has probably take a cold, hard look at this and said better to make the argument, yes, she may be a liar, but he's crazy, than to try to upend the public perception that she's not a liar.  

INGRAHAM:  It has to be a referendum on the status quo.  If you are happy with the status quo, if you think things are hunky dory, then you've got to vote for Clinton.  But if you think we need change, and most voters think we need substantial change, then Trump is banking that despite all his problem they're going to go for Trump in the end.  

BAIER:  Quickly, Zeke.  The change-maker argument, is it a little tough for her?  

MILLER:  Absolutely.  She's moved away from making that so much.  As much as she can make this face a referendum on Donald Trump is the only way she's going to win this thing.  It's making the argument that he's crazy or someone unsettled, it's making the chaos argument against Donald Trump, and they tried to do that all last week.  If they were to make this about change or anything like that, we would have seen that on stage, and we didn't.  


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